Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

WORTH-IT: (Ben Affleck) Take a story that combines south Boston culture with modern-day tragedy and you get Gone Baby Gone, the tale of a four-year-old girl that goes missing in a neighborhood where kidnapping is on the rise and ignorance is close behind. Characters with strong feelings and quick judgement make this a long and delicately intertwined mystery. Private detectives played by Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan are hired to work with the police in hopes of uncovering who took Amanda McCready and where she is now, and if she is even alive. Morgan Freeman plays the good cop veteran, "dedicated to never letting another child go missing." Ed Harris plays Freeman's main man in these cases, with a cold heart for anyone out to hurt a child. Oscar-nominated Amy Ryan plays the coked up mother, constantly with alterior motives. The characters clash with differences of opinion, emotion and what is actually the "right" thing to do, but inevitably all fit together to unveil an unlikely culprit. The script does a good job of coaxing you into believing the neglect and boredom that eventually surfaces with unsolved crimes, but also reveals in a tender and tragic fashion the everlasting emotions that come with it. For a long twoish hours, Gone Baby Gone takes you on an unpredictable chase for the solution to the crime. You'll find yourself on the edge of your seat, but also racking your brain for the resolution within your own morals. Ben Affleck, with his screenplay adapted from the novel by Dennis LeHane, does a fantastic job of setting us up in a realistic world and keeping us guessing until the end. Good guys and bad guys mix and confuse you until an unexpected end that I won't spoil. The story is ultimately heartbreaking in the greatest degree. Sad people and tragic situations illustrate a broken city fighting for credibility. Expect utter disgust for the way the world works here, but accept their way of life and be ready for a story that satisfies in its ability to completely encapsulate your heart's sympathetic nature.

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